Everyone knows social media is important. These days, using social media effectively can be the difference between making it and breaking it as a landscaper. But where should you get going, and where are you going to see a return on your efforts? Right off the bat, here are 7 things to think about and include into your social media strategy.

Determining Goals and Outcomes

It’s easy enough to begin posting things to various social platforms. What’s more difficult is coming up with a logical strategy of what and why you are posting.

Think about the fundamental goals of your social media strategy. Are you trying to grow your overall following? Is finding new customers and building connections with them the objective? Or is social media a place for you to provide service and communicate with existing customers? Settling on real goals and objectives will get you off to a great start with social media. It’s also one that many people tend to skip.

Content. Content. Content

Everyone will tell you that the secret to social is creating and sharing 'great content'. Ok, great. So what is 'great content', where does it come from, and how are you supposed to create a consistent flow of it while also running a Landscaping business?

Unfortunately, there's no single correct answer. But there's an easy mental check you can perform to let you know if something qualifies as 'great content' for your specific audience.

Choose three customers you want to know about your landscaping services. Put yourself in each of their heads, and read the post you’ve just written. Are you glad you found that post? If yes, post it! If not, ask yourself why and rethink.

Design Your Posts for Sharing

The most shared and reposted content will be that which is genuine, valuable, and helpful to its readers. So plan your content with share-ability in mind, and look for content posted by others that you can share and comment on yourself.

Conversations Not Billboards

When it works, social media has a community feel to it, with consumers and producers posting back and forth in equal parts. The famous 80/20 rule says you should devote 80% of your posts to sharing content from relevant sources and influencers, and reserving just 20% for posting about your landscaping company. Don't be too self centered with your use of social. If you only post about yourself, you'll quickly run out of that 'great content' we talked about. Survey your followers. Collect feedback. Post valuable things from elsewhere. And don’t be afraid to sound like a human being.

Video Killed the Copywriter

On a more focused note, how does video play into all of this? Most businesses acknowledge that they would like to use more video. But the time, resources, and effort needed to produce quality video can be a committed blocker. That said, the value of video cannot be overstated, and there are stats to prove it.

Social posts containing video receive nearly 50% more views than their non-video peers, according to a recent HubSpot article. And with the spread of new video-specific platforms like Vine, Vimeo, and of course, YouTube, video is becoming even more shareable.

Stop Dividing Social from Your Website

In the past, there’s often been an unnecessary wall between social media and primary websites. Obviously, this makes very little sense. Insure that visitors visiting your main website have an easy way to link out to your social channels. Forbes lists social links on their shortlist of social media musts. This is a no-brainer, and takes just a couple minutes with a social icons plugin like this.

Send Traffic from Social to your Site

In the same way that linking from your website to your social is a no-brainer, linking from your social back to your website is equally important. Most social media platforms will let you add links to your profile, or elsewhere.

But today, you can go even further, and embed your social media content right in your landscaping company’s website. All of the major social platforms have methods to embed a stream on a site. Some even let you combine posts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms into a single feed, like this!

How does social media play into your Landscaping business and marketing strategy? We’d love to hear about tips, tools, and tricks you discovered, and see examples of what’s working for you. Tell us in the comments section, and maybe we'll share your content on our own social channels!